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Milky Way Season

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The stars have been waiting patiently for the borders to reopen and visitors to return! The next few months just happen to be the best stargazing season of the year and the adventures begin in the Wheatbelt and Mid West regions where conditions are ideal.
Keep your eyes peeled for visiting Astrophotographers. They often refer to mid autumn to mid spring as the “Milky Way Season”! That’s because, during this time of year, we look towards the centre or core of our Milky Way Galaxy. It’s dense with stars and stretches across the dark night sky in country WA. Astrophotographers love it!

The Milky Way is best seen when there’s no moonlight and you’re away from bright city lights. What you’re looking for is a band of cloudy or dusty looking light that stretches in an arc from the south east to the south west. It looks like a cloud, but it’s actually billions of stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy, our home in the Universe.

The Milky Way is classified as a spiral galaxy with a central bulge and thin arms stretching over 100,000 light years. Imagine two fried eggs stuck back to back! The centre of our galaxy (the yolks of the eggs) is dense with stars, dust and gas.

When you see that arc of milky-looking light in the southern sky, you are looking through the plane of our galaxy. Imagine you’re sitting near the edge of the fried egg and you’re looking towards the egg yolks, the centre of the Galaxy.

When and where to look: From 7.30pm, 10 to 23 June. Look to the south east.

If you’d like updates, join Stargazers Club WA for free. We keep members up to date. www.stargazersclubwa.com.au.